UPDATED: MENIFEE: Man killed running across freeway after vehicle breaks down ID’d

UPDATE: April 23, 8:50 p.m.

Riverside County Coroner officials have identified the person killed in yesterday morning’s fatal vehicle versus pedestrian accident when he struck while darting across the freeway. Officials identified the victim as Juan Escutia, 51, of San Bernardino.

Escutia was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident less than ten minutes after the accident was reported, at 9:28 p.m.

Although Escutia seemed to have successfully crossed the freeway once, witnesses at the scene stated he was struck while re-crossing the freeway, after he realized he had left his cell phone inside his disabled car and tried to run back to his vehicle.

CHP officials are still investigating the full circumstances surrounding the tragic accident.


UPDATE: April 23, 4:45 p.m.

MENIFEE – Details are still emerging after a man, whose vehicle possibly stalled on the southbound Interstate 215, died while trying to dart across the freeway. The fatal accident happened Saturday, April 22, south of Scott Road in Menifee.

One witness at the scene later said the man may have been struck after he had already crossed the freeway once, but attempted to run back across the lanes of traffic when he realized he had forgotten his cell phone in his disable vehicle.

The man was reportedly hit while trying to re-cross the freeway.

Emergency first responders were dispatched to reports of the vehicle versus pedestrian traffic collision about 9:16 p.m.

Six firefighters from two engine companies responded to the accident, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer April Newman. They were assisted by Murrieta Fire Protection District personnel.

When firefighters arrived at the scene they located the victim’s vehicle blocking the number two lane. Firefighters also located the victim down in the roadway. Firefighters immediately determined the man had succumbed to his injuries and the he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials have not released the man’s identity, pending notification of his family.

While firefighters and other emergency first responders were working at the scene of the deadly accident, traffic quickly backed up in both directions.

Within thirty minutes of the accident, southbound traffic had backed up several miles. Northbound traffic moved a bit faster, but at a slowed pace, as motorists craned their necks to see what had happened on the other side of the freeway.

California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene to conduct an investigation into the cause of the deadly accident. Their investigation is active and ongoing.

This is a developing story. Additional information will be updated as it becomes available.

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